Nemo and Dinner - A Fish Tale.

Yesterday I flushed my first fish.

That is not to say that many fish haven't been flushed at the J house before this.  This was just the first one I couldn't pretend not  to notice until RJ got home I found myself dealing with.

But I'm getting ahead of myself here.

Let me start at the beginning.

A few months ago, my boys "won" a couple of goldfish at the school Fall Festival, where by "win" I mean it was the end of the night and they were walking by and the volunteers couldn't leave until all the fish had homes.

Awesome, huh?

On the way home, plastic bags of fish in hand, we made a quick stop at the local Dollar General, where the cashier saw my purchase - a large glass bowl and the last container of goldfish food in the store - and started laughing.  "Been to the Fall Festival, huh?  We've had a run on these tonight."

We got the fish home and settled.  Zj named his Nemo (Not a clown fish not a clown fish so wrong so wrong! Breathe.  Let it go, mj, let it go.) and cj named his, quite inexplicably, Dinner.  Well, I guess it was in a bowl...  

 The next day, I woke up with a feeling of dread, fully expecting one or both fish to be dead.

Nope.  Still going strong.

Next day, same thing.

It was at that point that RJ commented that maybe it was time to get the fish a "real" home.  

Uh, oh.  I knew where this was going...

$147 later, Dinner and Nemo were set up in a fancy new home, and I was not so silently resigning myself to the fact that we were officially a pet-owning family.

And then, a few days later, Nemo bit it.  Or maybe it was Dinner.  They were goldfish, for goodness sake, and goldfish are not known for their distinct personality and appearance.  Anyway, we had a floater.  

Thankfully, RJ was available to deal with the dead fish carcass and also the inevitable wailing that accompanied it.  

Promises of new fish were made.  

What the Hell???  We just got rid of this one and you're promising the kid a new one??? Really??? We will never get rid of them all at this rate...

And so it began, this cycle of buying fish, dying fish, water testing, ammonia levels, pH balances, water changes, filter cleaning, heat lamp purchases, and cool new tiki huts for them to live in.

I managed to be mostly an observer, only occasionally asking things like "Have you fed the fish today?" and "Is that one dead?  It looks dead.  Oh, there it goes."

I thought once the novelty wore off, the boys would forget all about them, but they seem to love watching them.

It's like watching an episode of Spongebob, I guess, without all the butt and booger jokes.

And then the day came that I had to get involved in the whole waste management business.    I would have totally put it off and waited for RJ like I usually do, but this fish wasn't just dead, it was dead and rotten.  

I prepared zj as best as I could.  

"We need to flush a fish.   It's dead."

I'm not really known for my sensitivity.  Is there training for that?

Anyway, zj took it pretty well, all things considered, and after a couple solemn words said over Newly Dead Fish - we stopped naming them a couple months in.  It seemed pointless when they all look the same AND when we were going through them like toilet paper, literally - I let zj flush it, and the deed was done.

Later that afternoon, zj asked for a paper and pencil and turned out this wonderful artwork:

My favorite part is how the fish is floating happily in the toilet, waiting to be flushed.  Well, that, and the fact that he seemed to equate his love for his dead sewer-bound fish with his love for me.  Does he think I'm gonna die too, and there will be an endless supply of Mamas who look and act ALMOST like me who will come in and take my place almost seamlessly?  


Most importantly, fish are the end of the line here as far as pets go.

There will NOT be a dog.

There will NOT.


  1. I can't believe I had to read about this on your blog. The drawing made me cry. You really should prepare me for these things.

  2. I was laughing hysterically at the drawing, and my 20-year-old insisted on knowing what I was reading. He didn't understand why this was so funny until I reminded him of the dozens of fish we've flushed, the large hamster graveyard under the back porch swing, and the cat buried where a tree conveniently uprooted itself during a storm. This only escalates. When we lost Millie, our first dog, two years ago I asked my dad if we could bring her to Lexington and bury her there on the family farm. So he dug a grave. With a backhoe. Because he has one. Millie was a bit overweight, but this grave could have held a moderately-sized elephant. Prepare yourself.

  3. @Angie, If I had a backhoe, I would use it to dig all my graves. Really. Also, every time my hubby leaves the house, I tell him "Do not bring home anything with fur." So far, this has worked.

  4. HA HA HA HA HA, "there will not be a dog" HA HA HA HA HA........ I will remind you of this post when I see picture's of the new dog!!
    I have a very perfectionist ocd type friend who is VERY anti fur...... SHE got a dog this last year and told the kids if the dog came the fish had to go...... 1 of the 2 fish is at my house and Meeka now lives with them, crate in the living room and all......


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